Thursday, March 30, 2006

Postcards from Lake Agassiz

On the hottest prairie days, sometimes
I can nearly feel a fine light spray
teasing my parched lips and tongue
whipped up from the windy water
of a lake that is no longer there
and that hasn't been for perhaps
eight thousand or so years.

From places close by, I nearly feel, too
the cool breathing and deep muttering grind
of glaciers the size of continents
abrading an adolescent land down to its bones
and melting rivers into water vast enough
to meddle with whole prehistoric climates
somewhere across a different-shaped Atlantic.

If you ask me where they come from,
these teasing postcards of memories I can't have,
I cannot tell you, yet I am preternaturally aware
that among wheatfields I walk the dry bed of a lake
great enough to swallow all of the great lakes
now belted across the wide belly of this country
drowning them deep, denying them daylight.

And when bright noon sun is highest and driest
I can close my ancestral eyes and remember
sitting serenely on a worn canvas deck chair
beneath a gaudy coloured beach umbrella with
a tall iced tea, sunglasses and a bamboo pole
fishing for extinct Pleistocene creatures
from the rocky shoreline of a young Lake Agassiz.

4 comments:

molina said...

I Remember You

gone for a few days
gone for a few million years
what's the difference?

coyote said...

Hey, Molina! I know we're both old souls, but really, it's only been a few thousand years since that fishing trip.... and ya gotta love the taste of them Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi when they're pan-fried, even if ya gotta dodge the giant sloths and beavers while you cook 'em...

Anonymous said...

Honestly coyote. You get sillier and sillier with every passing lemming casserole.

But this is neat. And when you fly over Lake Winnipeg these days, you STILL get the sense of flying over an ocean, not a lake, it's so big.

coyote said...

I've been silly for ages, Nonny. What are these lemming casseroles you speak of?